West Long Branch, New Jersey is located in Monmouth County, and is known for being home to the Monmouth University Hawks. However, the area also has a rich and fascinating history that is often overlooked. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near West Long Branch.
1. Battle of Monmouth (1778)
On June 28, 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, a significant battle occurred in nearby Freehold, New Jersey. The Battle of Monmouth was fought between the Continental Army, led by General George Washington, and the British Army, led by General Sir Henry Clinton. The battle resulted in a draw, but it was an important moment in American history as it was the longest and largest battle of the war.
2. Oakhurst Hotel Fire (1923)
On January 30, 1923, a fire broke out at the Oakhurst Hotel in nearby Ocean Township. The three-story building was consumed by flames, and tragically, six people lost their lives. The cause of the fire was never determined.
3. Jersey Shore Shark Attacks (1916)
In the summer of 1916, a series of shark attacks occurred along the Jersey Shore, including attacks in nearby Spring Lake and Matawan. Four people were killed and one was injured. The attacks led to widespread panic and inspired the book and movie "Jaws."
4. Oceanic Free Library Opening (1899)
The Oceanic Free Library, located in nearby Rumson, opened its doors on August 1, 1899. It was the first public library in Monmouth County, and it continues to serve the community today.
5. President Woodrow Wilson Visits Shadow Lawn (1916)
Shadow Lawn, located in West Long Branch, was the summer home of former New Jersey Governor and presidential candidate Woodrow Wilson. On July 4, 1916, Wilson visited Shadow Lawn as President of the United States, making it one of only a few presidential visits to the area.
6. The SS Morro Castle Shipwreck (1934)
On September 8, 1934, the SS Morro Castle, a passenger ship traveling from Havana to New York, caught fire off the coast of Asbury Park. The ship drifted to nearby Long Branch, where it finally grounded and burned. A total of 137 passengers and crew members died in the disaster.
7. Founding of Monmouth University (1933)
In 1933, Monmouth University (then known as Monmouth Junior College) was founded in West Long Branch. The university has since grown to become a nationally recognized institution of higher learning, with a student body of over 6,500 students.
These events are just a few examples of the rich and varied history that surrounds West Long Branch, New Jersey. From Revolutionary War battles to tragic disasters, the area has played a significant role in shaping America's past. By exploring and learning about these events, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the area and the people who have lived here.
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